Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Earth Day 2014: 10 Ways to Celebrate and Help Cavendish

1Participate in Green Up Day on Saturday, May 3 and Through Out the Year
• Be part of Vermont’s 44 year old tradition, Green Up Day, and help to pick up roadside trash on Saturday, May 3. Be at CTES in Proctorsville by 9 am to collect Green Up bags, gloves and a route. Hot Green Mountain Coffee will be available to get you energized. Town sponsored BBQ starts at noon on the Proctorsville Green. Rain date is May 10. FMI: Diane McNamara at 226-7292.
• “Walk and Green:” If you are a walker, take a bag with you and pick up trash when you can. Stop by the town office and pick up Green Up bags so you can take what you collect free of charge to the transfer station. Note that they have some special bags that are just the right size for this activity
Check your yard and property for trash and dispose of properly. 
• If you are walking a dog, please clean up after them.

2. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Fortunately Cavendish has a zero-sort recycling program. In addition, there are many other items that can be recycled either at the transfer station or elsewhere. Did you know that by putting used clothing in the “yellow barn” you help to support programs at SEVCA? Don’t forget that one man’s trash is another’s treasure. The Cavendish town wide tag sale is July 27 (Saturday) so start putting your items aside or take them to the Black River Good Neighbor Thrift Store in Ludlow  for their spring rummage sale May 16-18.

Learn more:
• Freecyle(Springfield VT Chapter) The Freecycle Network™ is made up of 5,121 groups with 7,257,497 members across the globe. It's a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns and thus keeping good stuff out of landfills. 

3. Dispose of Medicines and Hazardous Materials Appropriately:
April 26, from 10-2 is National Prescription Take Back Day: Drop-off leftover or expired prescription drugs at designated centers. Please note that intravenous solutions, injectable and syringes, will not be accepted. Drop off locations: Weathersfield Transfer Station (5024 Route 106); Ludlow Police Dept. (19 West Hill Rd., Ludlow); Springfield Police Dept. (201 Clinton St., Springfield); or Windsor Police Dept (29 Union St., Windsor). Dispose of medications year round at the Ludlow Drop Center, located at the Ludlow Police Dept. on West Hill. FMI: 800-882-9539

• May 10, from 9-1, is Household Hazardous Waste Collections Day: Such waste can be taken to the Springfield or Ludlow Transfer Stations. Up to 10 gallons of hazardous waste can be taken free of charge. Over that it’s $4 per gallon. You can bring the following items: aerosols; antifreeze; automotive products; gasoline; hobby chemicals; household cleaners; kerosene; paint-latex and oil-based, stains etc.; paint cleaners; pesticides; pool chemicals; mercury thermometers; and mercury thermostats. Note that this is the first time you can bring latex paint. For more information.  

4. Plant a Garden, Be part of a community garden, Join a CSA (Community Sustained Agriculture) or Shop the Farmer’s Market
Cavendish’s CSA is Little Village Farm in Proctorsville. They grow over 35 vegetable varieties, as well as herbs. The season is about 18 to 20 weeks, June through October and half and full shares of produce are available on a weekly basis. 

• If you prefer growing your own vegetables, consider the Fletcher Farm community garden located on route 103. The per-plot fee is $15 and financial assistance is available. FMI: Call Joanna 228-3386 or Fran at 275-2064

• A number of area farmers bring their produce to the Ludlow Farmer’s Market, which opens Friday, May 23.

• Have questions about gardening in Vermont? Call the University of Vermont Extension Master Gardener’s program 1-800-639-2230 or e-mail master.gardener@uvm.edu

5. Butt Power- use a bike, or walk when traveling short distances. Want to take a walk by the Black River? Try Greven Field, a quarter mile trail located around the ball fields. Check out Greven Park Trail-A Hike With Many Views 

6. Live Sustainably-Tips from the 1930s: Several years ago, the Cavendish Historical Society ran workshops on sustainable living tips from the1930’s.
• Line dry clothing. Not only does the sun act as a bleaching agent, clothes last longer.
• Clean with baking soda, lemons and vinegar using old t-shirts or other rags.
• Store left overs in glass jars (e.g. spaghetti sauce jars) and containers and avoid using plastic wrap.
• Wash only full loads of laundry.
• Use only what you need.
• Avoid processed foods, choosing fresh fruits, vegetables and local meats instead.
• Turn off running water and fix leaks and drips
• Buy used or recycled-Purchasing items at Black River Good Neighbors helps to support programs that serve people in Cavendish, Ludlow, Plymouth and Mount Holly.
• Turn off lights and unplug appliances when not in use
• Use natural lighting whenever possible
Bring your own bags with you when you shop
• Invest in a single reusable travel mug and fill with your favorite beverages rather than using a disposable cup

7. Sustainable Living-Tips for Today: Though not from the 1930’s, our grandparents/great grandparents would surely approve of things like:
• Turn off the computer monitor when you’ll be away for more than a few minutes. Turn off and unplug your printer, speakers, and other peripherals when you're not using them. Turn off the lights and music every time you leave the room.

• Print rough drafts of papers on the back of scrap paper, or print your papers on both sides. Recycle used paper.

• Refill reusable water bottles and store them in a refrigerator instead of buying new disposable bottles of water.

• If you have a difficult time remembering to power down devices at the end of a day, consider placing them on a timer or setting them up on a smart strip device.

• Limit your technology upgrades.  Reducing the number of devices (e.g. computers, phones and iPads) owned or upgraded each year, significantly reduces demand of fossil fuels for the production, use and disposal of these products.

• When shopping for new appliances for your home, compare the energy consumption of each device and include the cost of energy in your decision.

8. Compost: This will soon be the law in Vermont, so learn how to compost, if you are not already doing so, at the Agency of Natural Resources Backyard Composting website. 

9. Utilize Programs and Resources from Efficiency Vermont: Efficiency Vermont provides technical assistance, rebates, and other financial incentives to help Vermont households and businesses reduce their energy costs with energy-efficient equipment, lighting, and approaches to construction and major renovation.  Learn more at the Efficiency Vermont website or call them at 888-921-5990 

10. Remove Invasive Species from Your Property, Particularly Barberry: With summer season not far off, now is a good time to get rid of invasive plants, particularly Barberry which is linked to the spread of Lyme Disease. 

Learn more:
 Vermont Invasives: Actively Conserving Our Environment 

                                                              BONUS: Have some Upcycling Fun
Whether it’s converting an old coffee can into a lampshade or using wine corks to make a place mat, there are thousands of ways you can repurpose items around the house. Check out the following:

• Dish Functional Designs: Great projects for those with lots of books they want to get rid of. 

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